Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: The Death of Civility

*The older I get the more I realize how much I don’t know. Yet one thing I know for sure is society is witnessing the death of civility. Sure, people might argue and fight. They might passionately protest over a cause. Still that’s just opposing forces expressing themselves.

But when a person goes out of her way to offer aid, gets punched in the face by the person she tried to help and witnesses walk away from her without looking back to see if she’s okay that speaks volumes about the man who punched her, as was as his associates who witnessed it.

I was affected by the video   because Zoa Stigler, the security guard, showed compassion for Matthew De Leon, a stranger. De Leon was drunk. He vomited on the sidewalk in front of the building where she worked. She went above and beyond the call of duty and was prepared to mop it up! That’s more than he or his friends offered to do. What Stigler, 46, got in return from the 23-year-old De Leon was water thrown at her and a punch to the face!

zoa stigler
Zoa Stigler

Being drunk is no excuse. If anything it reveals who you really are. If Stigler would have been a man or police would have responded to her initial call for assistance with a drunk man on the sidewalk I doubt De Leon would have become violent. He saw a defenseless woman and took advantage of the situation. Why do some people fail to give the respect and consideration they demand for themselves and their loved ones?

It happened in Chicago – the current murder capital of the USA. Even though the incident occurred in what looked to be a ‘nice’ part of town, people with elitist attitudes are just as likely to break the law because they think they are above the law. De Leon turned himself in to police only because a video of the incident was broadcast on the local news making it impossible for him to get away with it.

The condo association she works for should reevaluate their security guidelines. At the very least Stigler should have been packing a baton or pepper spray to defend herself.

De Leon, who is in the military claimed to be remorseful. Through his attorney he said he wants to “make it right” for Stigler and her family. That means he wants to throw money at the problem. That’s what rich people do when they want problems to go away. But his actions resulted in three felony charges. This time maybe his ass wrote a check his bank account can’t cash.

Steffanie Rivers
Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. For questions, comments or speaking inquiries email her at





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